Author Archive for Hank Yuloff

How to Create More Successful NonProfit Solicitation Emails

Every holiday season, I am bombarded by a bevy of Nonprofit Solicitation Emails. They have become sort of a hobby. When you are on the contact list for dozens OF nonprofits, getting nonprofit solicitation emails in December comes with the territory.

The hobby part of reviewing nonprofit solicitation emails is to see how many of them are poorly executed. They expect you to just hand over the money because they are a nonprofit.

Another part of the hobby is to see which nonprofit solicitation emails are executed well. And my favorite nonprofit solicitation emails are the ones that, with a few changes, could be even more successful.

Why Most NonProfits Are Not as Successful as They Could Be

Before I show you an example of each, I want to discuss why most nonprofits are not as successful as they could be.

Simply put, it is because they are not militant for their cause.

Too many nonprofits approach donors with their hand out, palm up, expecting us to drop coins just because they are a nonprofit.

They fail to understand that the 501c-3 designation is just a tax status. NonProfit orgnizations are allowed to make a profit, just not for the benefit of any given individual, only for the mission.

Fundraisers SHOULD approach donors, hand up, with a piece of parchment in hand, showing us what they do for the community. It should be a list of what would not be getting done by private business or government if their nonprofit did not exist.

Another way to picture this is Ebeneezer Scrooge getting to see, with his own eyes, how much different his life could be if he was more giving to the right organizations.

This lack of sales ability is why so many nonprofits struggle. It is also one of the reasons we offer a free copy of our product, The Small Business Marketing Plan, to the nonprofit of choice to the business owner who invests in the program.

Here are 3 examples of what I received the last week of the year.

My Ghosts of Christmas NonProfit Solicitation eMails Past

First is from Cancer Support Community. They sent it to me at 4:12 pm on New Year’s Eve. They should have been making their case a long time prior to that. Their message is not a very strong one: no stories and no photos. The subject line of “Only a Few Hours Left…” does not reach out to me, either.

The next is from a local hospital. They got to me earlier in the week, and had been asking since Thanksgiving.

Their subject line assumes I am finally thinking about tax deductions the last two days of the year.

Their headline is missing a WHY. Or more specifically, a “Y.” Imagine them reminding me that I had just one more chance to support MY community instead of THEIRS.

They do have a good photo, showing me their medical team in action. Unfortunately, I have to read down into the body copy to find out that the money is to support their Emergency Department.

It turns out, this campaign brought in over $150,000 thanks to a very large matching donor. They did not mention the matching donor campaign in the email which is disappointing as it would increase donations. What is great, however, is that there are 2 direct phone numbers that allow you to speak to the nonprofit directly.

The last email was from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. They gave us a time limit, and a reason to donate in the subject line. That increases open rate. They gave us compelling reasons to donate and how they will be using your money. They also highlighted a matching donation which lets me see that I can donate an amount and it would be doubly effective. One more thing that is GREAT about this email is that on their donate button, they are telling me that it is secure to add my credit card.

I have brought up tactics which should be used year-round to improve your nonprofit solicitation emails fundraising. If you want more help, give us a call at 800-705-4265 or, even better, take our free marketing assessment at www.BoxFullOfMarketing.com

Your 5 Part Year End Review

It’s time for all those office housekeeping and year end review activities, and here is a list from us for your marketing.

Here are 5 Parts of Your Business to Review

First is your Marketing Report Card. This part of your year end review will have you list everything you are doing to market your business and give it a letter grade. You can be as subjective or as ‘numbers based’ as you want. Here is an example of 3 things WE have done this year and how they were graded:

Seodona Referrals Club Sedona Referrals Club B+
Reason: We got enough promotional product business to cover our costs and marketing plan clients to make it profitable.

Encino Chamber of Commerce A
Reason: Hank has remained on the board of directors and as our ‘first chamber’ it always has a warm place in our hearts. Hank was also awarded as an honorary Lifetime Member in 2017.

Teaching at OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Insititue) D
Reason: Though it was fun, it generated zero business. Didn’t even put us in front of a lot of people. This will not be repeated because though we were able to try out a few new teaching methods, that is not worth the time invested.

Small Business Marketing Plan Bootcamp A
Reason: Generated more business and leads than all other marketing tools. We have 6 (maybe 7) bootcamps on the calendar for 2018. Gives us the best opportunity to educate the widest audience on how they must market their business.

Business (objective) plus the Feeling (subjective) are put together to come up with a grade. You should also grade each method based entirely on Dollars Generated.

Are you placing ads in a local newspaper? Did you generate at least 4 times the dollars for each dollar spent? If not, give it a C. If it did, then a B or greater.

Second, Review Your Supplier/Vendor Relationships and Contracts

In your year end review this is where you will look at your non-employee team.
Is your accountant responsive? How fast does she answer your phone calls?
Is your financial planner pro-active? Does he bring you financial ideas? Has he already looked at the tax bill and called to set a meeting?
Is your auto lease and all your other leases (equipment) up soon?
Is your web hosting agreement up to date?
Is your credit card processor still giving you the rate they promised? Is their service worth the fees? What ARE all those fees?
Is your office rental still serving you? Do you need to have a meeting with the building manager?

Is now finally the time you are going to hire the marketing coaches you and your company deserve? The kind of team that could double your business? Here is someone who did:

Third is to Update Your Emergency Program

2017 taught us all that we need a plan in place to deal with weather issues. But your year end review is more than worrying about weather. Not everyone has to worry about hurricanes or earthquakes, excess snow, or a truck running into a power pole which can all leave our business unable to function in our normal space. You need a printed binder of ‘what ifs’ that is copied to your entire management staff.

Where will employees work?
How will they check in?
How will you continue to pay your bills? Can you literally write checks without a computer?
There are a ton more questions we would ask here of clients, but you get the point: Walk through your office and ask a lot of WHAT IF THIS WERE NOT THERE?

We have a plan to run our entire Small Business Marketing Plan bootcamp without power. It would be more challenging, but we can do it.

This is also when you should review your Continuity Plan: how will your business function if your key employee is suddenly unable to work for any reason?

Fourth is your Digital Assets Review

So much of what we do is online and electronic that we need to check on them. Here is a checklist of what to check on:
* Are your sales funnels operating? Do you need to change the offers? Do you need to A/B test them?
* Is your website up to date? Does it still reflect your image?

We just decided to change our name (don’t do this twice in 15 months without professional assistance) to Yuloff Creative Marketing Solutions so we need to phase out the Sedona Marketing moniker we put into place just two years ago. This meant that we had to change the SedonaMarketing.com landing page and video. Here are photos of the layout prior to the change (or click so you can see the difference).

Here is an important tip:  We just added the CLICK HERE starburst on each button because we found that people did not know to Click Here.   It was not obvious.  We made it obvious.

We will update our main sight next year, after fully launching The Small Business Marketing Plan, which, we decided in our year end review, would take priority.

What in your business needs priority attention?
* Have you done a recent internet search of you and your brand? Find any old phone numbers or addresses lurking on various websites?
* Are your URLs about to expire? We caught 3 for two clients in one week which would have essentially put them out of business.
* By the way, is all the information on your business card up to date? I had to send a box of our marketing books to someone running a silent auction and the address on his card was wrong. When it came back, wasting $40 in my shipping charges, he explained that he had changed it on his email signature but was just getting rid of the last few hundred business cards. His business is based on getting tiny details correct. I wonder what he misses when he is doing what he does. What if someone is sending him paperwork and has his card on their desk? What business is he losing?

Last is a Team Review

This part of your year end review does not mean to decide who stays and who goes, but getting input from your team. Get them into the constant mode of asking for feedback from your clients.
I can always tell when a restaurant is not doing this when I ask a server if I can speak to the manager. 90%+ of the time they think they are about to hear something bad and when I tell the manager something wonderful about our experience, there is almost a reaction of “What am I supposed to say? This is very unusual.”

The questions here are:
* How are we doing?
* What learning moments can we share with everyone?
* What are the three most important things we need to change in how we operate?
* How can we improve our training? Train your staff to be open to gathering information.

Prior to this meeting, you should have your business ‘secret shopped.’ We call clients all the time to see how the phone is answered and how our questions are answered. That is the first line of contact so it best be strong.

You’re probably thinking that your “Year End Review” could easily be a “Year Long Review.” You are thinking correctly! The more we are open to improving, the more we are coachable, the better our business will be in the short and long term.

Would you like help putting your year end review together?

Have you done the review and need help with the ‘What Now’ part of the process?

Is now the time to hire a marketing coach and hugely improve your sales and bottom line?
Call us: 800-705-4265.

Email us:  info@YuloffCreative.com

Get in touch with us through social media.

Or head to BoxFullOfMarketing.com and take the short assessment and then click the link to get into our calendar. We are here to help and look forward to serving you.

#1 Tip for Sales Success: Learn Representational Systems

One of the oldest sales ‘tricks' I learned is that as soon as you enter a prospect’s office you should look for something you have in common.

Picture of himself fishing?  Talk about the trips you used to take with your dad.

Picture of his kids? WOW!  You get to chat with her about YOUR kids.

Ugh. Let’s move ahead a few decades and discuss Representational Systems.  A sales and more importantly, a communication tool, brought to us from the world of Neuro Linguistic Programming.*

There are 5 Representational Systems and they are associated with our senses. Each of us favors one of them in how we learn and if you can master the technique of learning which one your clients and prospects favor, your communication with them will be more effective.

The shorthand way of describing Representational Systems is by the acronym VAKOG.  VAKOG is an acronym for VISUAL, AUDITORY, KINETIC, OLIFACTORY, and GUSTATORY.  There is another called Auditory Digital.

Here is how you can recognize the four major Representational Systems:

VISUAL – People who are visual often stand or sit with their heads and/or bodies erect, and with their eyes up.  They often sit forward in their chair and tend to be organized, neat, well-groomed and orderly.  They memorize by seeing pictures, and aren’t often distracted by noise. They tend to have trouble remembering verbal instructions, as their minds tend to wander. A visual person will be interested in how your program “LOOKS.”  Here are expressions you can use to speak to them:

How does that look? Looks good to me. I see what you mean. Let me paint you a picture.

Strategic Marketing Plans and Coaching for Entrepreneurs in an Exclusive Executive Retreat Setting

AUDITORY – People who are auditory will quite often move their eyes sideways. They typically talk to themselves, and can be easily distracted by noise. They can repeat things back to you easily, they learn by listening, and usually like music and talking on the phone. They memorize by steps, procedures, and sequences (sequentially).  The auditory person likes to be told how they’re doing, and responds to a certain tone of voice or set of words. They will be interested in how your program “sounds,” and what you say about it. In addition to adding sound effects into your speech, here are expressions you can use to speak to them:

I hear you. Sounds good. That rings true. It’s music to my ears. I hear that loud and clear.

KINESTHETIC – These folks tend to speak very …… slowly. They respond to physical rewards and touching. They also stand closer to people than a visual person. They memorize by doing or walking through something. They will be interested in your program if it ‘feels right’ or if you can give them something they can grasp. Get into your feelings and use these expressions to speak to them:

Do you feel me? Reach your goals. Touch your goals. Results are within your grasp.

AUDITORY DIGITAL – This person will spend a fair amount of time talking to themselves. They memorize by steps, procedures, and sequences. They will be interested in your program if it ‘makes sense.’  The AD people can exhibit characteristics of the other major representative systems.


You may be curious how to use these learning modalities in your work. While they are not a guarantee of closing the deal, you ARE helping people capture your message.   During our Small Business Marketing Plan Bootcamps, we have coaching breaks after each section. As a way to capture attention, we use sentences like: “In this last section, who saw something new?” and “What rang the most true?” and “How will it help you reach your goals?”  and “What this section means to you is…..

Finally, let’s remember a study dating back to 1964 (Professor Albert Mehrabian) first stated that the words you say are 7% of what someone uses to make a decision.  38% is decided by HOW you say it and 55% is the physiology.  We will discuss these differences in an upcoming blog.

If you want help deciding which of the Representational Systems apply to you, connect with us and we will share a test with you that will demonstrate it. Call us at 800-705-4265 or go to BoxFullOfMarketing.com and you can get into our calendar after taking a short marketing assessment survey.

*Sharyn and Hank Yuloff are certified Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioners.

If Your Protest Sign Needs Punctuation, Its Message is Too Long

should be Our not AreFull disclosure: this post was inspired by Sharyn waking up saying that she spent the night dreaming about correcting the punctuation in protest signs…!
Protest Sign Needs Spell CheckThat punctuation should be at the end

We have all seen pictures on the internet of protesters holding signs and the bad spelling and punctuation makes them look, frankly, dumb.

We have also seen signs for a business on the internet that have bad punctuation and misspelled words.

When we see them, what do we automatically think of the person who is holding that sign? Or that business?

Yes, we think they are not all that intelligent. And we think less of them. If a prospect is deciding on giving you a check, would you rather she think you are intelligent, or not very smart? Of course, we all just chose intelligent.

So, why let a simple mistake hurt your opportunity to increase your sales?

Most of the time, the mistakes on signs are because someone rushed to finish them, or proofing them. It is easy for me to show you bad signs to get my point across in this blog, but what about mistakes in your presentations? Or emails? How do you think they make us look?

This blog is a reminder to take a few minutes to do what our elementary school through high school teachers told us to do: Check your spelling and punctuation before turning it in. It is sad how many people don’t do this and by remembering this blog, you will add a few percentage points to your closing rate because your work will stand out from competitors who were too busy to pay attention. This is a small, incremental change you are making, but it makes all the difference in the world.punctuation gone wrong
Check Your Sign's Punctuation first

Let’s talk about resumes, for a moment. When I was a sales manager for a national company, I saw resumes every week from people who wished to work for me.

I knew I was not going to interview all of them. I only wanted to chat with the ones who met my standards.

My first time through a stack of resumes was the “easy elimination round.” That was where I took out all the ones with mistakes: spelling, grammar and just bad writing style. Why? At that time, working for a promotional product company, misspelled words cost us money. If they blew it on their resume or cover letter, their primary marketing piece to get hired, I could not take the chance on them. Now imagine that is one of our cover letters or emails with a proposal to do business with us. Can you blame the prospect for not returning your call?

Why should they call us when we threw up a huge stop sign by using bad spelling, grammar, or punctuation?

To help you get over some easy hurdles, here are many punctuation rules to help you out.

PERIODS
1. We use them at the end of a declarative or imperative sentence.
Our appointment lasted an hour.
Bring back the rental car on time.

2. Use a period after initials, abbreviations, and contracted words.
N.F.L. Mr. et al.
W.W.F. a.m. oz.

3. Use only one period to complete a sentence which ends in an abbreviation.

4. Use a period, rather than a question mark, after an indirect question.
He asked when we would be leaving.
too much punctuation?

COMMA
Use a comma to separate words and phrases and in a series, i.e.
Jennifer was not altogether happy, it appeared.

SEMICOLON
1. Use a semicolon ( ; ) to separate independent coordinate clauses closely connected in meaning when no coordinate conjunction (such as and, but, for, or, nor, or while) is used.
Everyone’s business did better after investing in The Small Business Marketing Plan; the average sales went up 47%.

2. Use a semicolon before a transitional word or phrase which joins the coordinate clauses of a compound sentence.
Jennifer was not excited about going to the baseball game; besides, the tickets were very expensive.

3. Use a semicolon in lists where a comma is insufficient to separate the items clearly.
Jennifer was deciding which features of The Small Business Marketing Plan she liked the most. She is choosing from the coaching feature; the fact that her non-profit gets a free copy; and that she gets to attend the live marketing bootcamps for free.

COLONS
1. Use a colon ( : ) before a list of items or details.
Jennifer bought The Small Business Marketing Plan because she needed help with three things: locking in her target market, closing sales, and using social media effectively.

2. Use a colon after the salutation of a business letter.
Dear Jennifer:           OR To whom it may concern:

QUESTION MARKS
1. Use a question mark after each separate part of a sentence containing more than one question.
Should Jennifer give her free copy of The Small Business Marketing plan to the Boys and Girls club? The Chamber of Commerce? YesICan.org?

2. Use a question mark at the end of a question.
What time yesterday did Jennifer buy The Small Business Marketing Plan?
wrong punctuation used

APOSTROPHE
Use an apostrophe for:
1. Contractions such as “It’s time for Jennifer to buy The Small Business Marketing Plan.”

2. The Possessive Case of a Noun, such as “The Small Business Marketing Plan is now Jennifer’s.”

EXCLAMATION POINT
1. Use an exclamation point to express a strong feeling. You do not need more than one.
Jennifer is so excited that she bought The Small Business Marketing Plan!

QUOTATION MARKS
Use double quotation marks ( “ ) around a direct quotation. Do not use them for indirect statements.
“Wow,” Jennifer said, “The Small Business Marketing plan is wonderful.”

Now, just for fun, here are 10 signs you are a grammar nerd, according to Grammarly:

10 signs you are a grammar nerd

10 signs you are a grammar nerd.

If you are about to have a sign made and want a second set of eyes to take a look at your spelling and punctuation, send it to Info @ Yuloff Creative.com . You can also give us a call at 800-705-4265

How to Write Your Business Book

Most of us for our first few books are still a bit intimidated with the entire process of creating our business book.  In past blog posts, we have talked about WHY to write your book, so now let’s discuss HOW to get it done. I have broken it down into 17 steps.

  1. Put off the title. In the movies, you see the writing of a business book portrayed all the time. The actor has a typewriter, puts paper in it and then… nothing. They are waiting for inspiration. That’s because most people start with the title. Then they think they have to live up to it.

Can you imagine naming your book War and Peace? And THEN starting out on Monday morning to write the book?

We have gone through 5 titles for the HR Marketing book and are still looking for a permanent subtitle for The Marketing Checklist 3, the social media book.

  1. Instead, decide what you are going to write about. This is not hard – Your industry! You are writing your business book to be considered the expert. The literal “guy who wrote the book on the subject.”
  2. We got through steps one and two pretty fast, congratulations. Some of you are writing your business book while you listen to/read this. Step 3 is creating your Chapter headings. Come up with about 15 to 20 ideas of things you could write about under the topic of your book. Some people use post its on a cork board for this process so that later on, they can move them around easily and see them all at once. Others use a white board.   I write them down on paper. By the way, some of these chapters are not going to make the cut, which we will discuss later.
  3. Now write 1 or 2 sentences on what is in each chapter. Each chapter should be between 1 and 6 pages. That’s roughly 150 to 2000 words. Another way to put that is 1 to 3 blog posts that you are combining.
  4. Acquire an editor. Not your neighbor or your spouse. A real honest to goodness professional editor.
  5. Decide on what research you may need to do. Set a calendar for getting that done within a fortnight. You should already know most of this stuff – it is not a Masters dissertation. You might need a few statistics, go get them.

Part of this research is going through your blog posts and deciding which ones will be included in your book. We have talked about this:  As you write your weekly blog posts, you are writing your book. You may have to edit them from informal to a bit more formal writing style, but that is partially what you have your editor for, to help you with that.

  1. Once you have sorted your blogs into the virtual “Yes” and “No” piles, you need to write the rest of the chapters. Give me 22 minutes a day to write. Just before you check email. Each of your chapters are going to take a few days. This means your book is going to take about a month to write. Hank Yuloff's first business book: The Marketing Checklist
  2. If you have too many chapters or in other words are going too far over 100-150 pages, you may have TWO books. Don’t put it all in one book!  The Marketing Checklist – 80 Simple Ways to Master Your Marketing really should have been 49 Simple Ways, to tie in to 49 Stupid Things People do with Business Cards and How to Fix Them. Instead, The Marketing Checklist TWO followed that theme with 49 MORE Simple ways. The Marketing Checklist 3, 4, and 5 are being watched for the amount of content so that they can spill over into other books.
  3. Go back and look at your chapter headings. Make them more interesting. This is when you should be able to move to #10 which is…
  1. Lock the title. And here is a tip which will make it worth your entire reading of this blog: Use keywords someone would type to find your expertise in the title of your business book.
  2. Find someone to do your cover art. You can start this earlier in the process, but as you write the book, you may get ideas for what should go on the cover. Your artist should be given enough of the book to read that she has an idea of what to create for you. NOTE – and this is very important – if you are using this book to promote your business, then you should be on the cover. This means that #12 is…
  3. Get great cover photos taken. By a professional photographer.  You can do this step at any time during this process.
  4. Find people to review your book and give you a paragraph to put on the back of the book. Find the most well-known people you know. Hopefully people who have written books. While they are writing your reviews, you can move on to…
  5. Have your book formatted and uploaded to the printer. I am not going to promote any one in particular, there are many.
  6. This step is to take care of all the “other stuff.” The acknowledgements. The dedication. Your author bio page.  And the copywrite page, which your editor will assist you with.
  7. Create the sales page. Or pages. Keeping in mind that since your books are sales tools, why not put sales pages inside them so people can buy more, maybe even in bulk. It could be a coupon for your services. It could be how to get in touch with you to schedule an assessment appointment. Our books are getting more and more salesy. In the business card book, I thought I was being sly by adding a super secret email address that people can have their cards approved. Now, we are adding full on “lights, camera, action” pages of our products.
  8. Promote your business book. But that is another blog.

If you have questions or want help with your any of these steps, please invest 5 minutes to completing our free Marketing Assessment, at the end of which you'll be invited to view our calendar to book your free 30 minute focus session with us. Go to www.BoxFullOfMarketing.com